Friday, March 20, 2009

Babe's Followers

That day a few months ago, when I opened my blog, it showed a follower.

Follower? In terms of admirer? At this age? As a teenager, it was scary to have boys following us girls. Yes, it was abuse. As a young woman, I had followers-friendly as well as unfriendly followers. Ah abuse, thy manifold manifestations ! But a follower on the blog? I must say I was flattered, happy, scared- all at the same time. After all, what did it mean? I had never seen any followers on blogs. Whatever it meant. Curious, I opened the blogger dashboard and it revealed a follower. Blogger merely said," *** is following your blog." And I began to think, does it mean he/she knows whatever activity goes here? Does it mean he/she knows my password? Is he a stalker? I can tackle a she-stalker. I would have to bring in M to tackle a he-stalker. A few days into this following business, and there were more. One, two, three, four, five-by now I was in a wow mood. It meant I was being read. There were people trying to know what I was writing. I should write better. I should try to post more sensible stuff here.

One night I had a clothed Eureka moment and that woke me up with a start. It dawned on me that having a follower automatically means I can start a cult. Or even a religion. All that a religious leader needs is a few followers and I had, after all, a total of six. Thereafter, networking will do the rest of the job. If those fancy vilaiti companies can offer bonus on networking, I will give everybody some incentives too. Incentives like kadah parshad (flour halwa); or pinni parshad; or perhaps patasa (batasha in hindi and sugar candy in vilaiti English) will do instead of Phoren travel or big time money. Yes, I will resign my job and wear a designer suit and be a religious leader with a difference. A charming babe of a leader with a good hold on Punjabi, a non-accented English and a ‘cornered’ Hindi – and the magic would be complete. I said cornered Hindi, because most of us in Punjab speak out the language making it as abrupt as a turn in a room with corners. (Surjit Bhaji calls our hindi “nukkra’n kadh ke boli hindi’) I would be a babe as the feminine gender of a young baba – there are plenty young babas in our land. The feminine gender of old baba is bebe in Punjabi, bebe being an old (mother) woman. Now there is not much difference between a hi-fi babe and a Punjabi bebe. A mere ‘a’ I dare say. But then we digress. Coming back to the accent, I know my followers would forgive me any accent and actually will make a trend of my style. After all, what are followers for? But the dream soon shattered badly. For I was just one among all the blogspot bloggers who had followers. Whom-so-ever’s blog I visited on blogspot, almost everyone had a follower or two.

Gradually the followers reached a number of 38. Then the university sent me a letter, “lady, you have your dreaded viva voce with an examiner soon. Stop this follower business and get back to your studies” and I went back to my thesis, to my books and all that stuff. As if that was not enough, kids’ schools conspired with the university and they sent their date sheets. Poor babies started to get big time howling and cribbing from me, because my viva fell in the middle of their exams and there was no way either of the two tasks would allow me any respite.I forgot my blog, I forgot my followers. And my followers forgot me. Like the TRP of an Ekta Kapoor serial in which she finally killed Baa (did she, or didn’t she?) after Baa became about two and a half centuries old, the number of my followers fell. It fell from 38 to 36, then plummetted further to 32. I was sad, a little. Then one night, I woke up laughing out loud. I realised that only the true followers remain. They are the ones who have stayed by my side in my lonely and trying days spent compulsively away from blogworld. Mampi, think positive. Wow, I can still start my own religion.

And I have money power too. I am reminded through a widget on my blog that it has been valued at $ 23,710.68 even in these days of hopeless recession. Now that is some consolation. How they evaluate blogs is beyond my humble understanding. But I am happy, and for now that’s all that matters. With elections approaching fast , maybe I can, with muscle power (I have ample on my person) use some money power too and in the true blue Indian political style, combine my babe-dom with politics. But then this would be too ambitious for a single blogpost.

Meantime, everyone’s welcome to join the fold.